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Crossing the Mississippi......

Old 07-26-06, 06:14 PM
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PurpleK
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Crossing the Mississippi......

I plan to be touring in western Tennessee and eastern Arkansas/Missouri in September. But there seems to be very few opportunities to cross the Mississippi River. I can find only three, one in northern Tennessee and two near Memphis. All of these appear to be limited access freeways which makes me question the ability of a bicycle to cross the river out of Tennessee.

Anyone know anything about these bridge crossings? Is it legal or are there accommodations for bicycles to cross? If bicycles are not permitted, is there a shuttle service? Are there other crossings or ferries I'm unaware of?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-26-06, 07:56 PM
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I'm not sure about crossing in Memphis. There are two interstate bridges and two railroad bridges but I don't know if any allow pedestrian/bicycle traffic. Here is a link to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, just give them a call.

https://www.tdot.state.tn.us/contact.htm

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Last edited by Trek Al; 07-29-06 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:47 PM
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I have read reports of crossing the Mississippi on US Hwy 49 between Lula, TN and Helena, AR. It's about 50 mi south of Memphis. It looks like you may be able to cross the Mississippi on the I-55 bridge out of Memphis, but the photograh I saw looked like you would have to walk your bike to get around the girders. If the link to tdot doesn't help you, you could almost certainly call any bike shop in Memphis and get info on crossing from them.
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Old 07-27-06, 02:04 PM
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DON"T bother with local bike shops

Call the State hwy Patrols, they will be the ones who will stop and most likely ticket you if using the bridge is not allowed
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Old 07-27-06, 03:50 PM
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Mississippi crossings

This is a good question in general (beyond the Memphis area). Where can the Great River be crossed throughout its length and what are the accomidations required?

There is a ferry service near Hickman, KY that does allow cyclists at a rate of $2 a bike. Dorena-Hickman Ferry. It's a good 120-150 miles north of Memphis, but it is a potential crossing.
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Old 07-27-06, 05:36 PM
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There is a ferry (free, I believe) in Louisiana at St. Francisville. This is on the Souther Tier route.
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Old 07-27-06, 08:15 PM
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Most of the bridges across San Francisco Bay are limited access. A car free friend in Marin County said that when he had to get to the east side of the Bay (and back) he would call the agency running the bridges and say when he would need to cross. Usually withing half an hour of the time he got there one of the emergency service trucks that constantly shuttle across across the bridges would give him a lift over. Now there are bike racks on most buses running over the bridges. As others say contact the state agencies on both sides of the bridge. I expect the police would just say no. Greyhound might do it for a price. Adventure cyclings Yellow Pages has contact numbers for each state government. That alone was worth the price of joining for me.
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Old 07-29-06, 03:24 PM
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You can walk your bike across the I-55 bridge in Memphis, look up Mississippi River Trail (MRT) they have a web site and maps. By the way Lula is in MS. not TN. Memphis is about as far south as one can go in TN.
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Old 07-29-06, 06:51 PM
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Years ago, I crossed the Mississippi on the old Chain of Rocks bridge in North St. Louis County. At that time, the bridge was recently closed to traffic, due to the opening of the new bridge. This would undoubtedly be a little out of your way though. Also, the bridge may have been demolished since then.
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Old 07-29-06, 07:25 PM
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You can cross the Chain of Rocks bridge in St. Louis (it's part of a bike trail now).
You can cross the Lewis and Clark bridges into Alton Il.
You can cross the Golden Eagle and Brussels ferries into Illinois south of Grafton
You can cross the Grafton Ferry into Illlinois at Grafton
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Old 07-31-06, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Dellphinus
You can cross the Chain of Rocks bridge in St. Louis (it's part of a bike trail now).
You can cross the Lewis and Clark bridges into Alton Il.
You can cross the Golden Eagle and Brussels ferries into Illinois south of Grafton
You can cross the Grafton Ferry into Illlinois at Grafton
This is good to know for next time I'm back visiting family!
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Old 08-01-06, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Terrapax
This is a good question in general (beyond the Memphis area). Where can the Great River be crossed throughout its length and what are the accomidations required?
Doring the summer the Channel Cat water taxi will transport you and your bike from Moline, Il to Danvenport, IA or vice versa.

There is a sidewalk on the Centennial bridge than runs from Rock Island to Davenport. Since it is a highway you could ride over it also, but I have only done this when one lane was closed to cars. The great River Trail runs right under the bridge making it easy to find..
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Old 08-02-06, 12:45 AM
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There is a wonderful ferry between Hickman, Kentucky and Dorena, Missouri just north of the Tennessee line. Since it's small and run by a family it does not run at night - but the folks who run it are super.

https://www.dorena-hickmanferryboat.com/
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Old 08-10-06, 04:16 PM
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PurpleK,
I am in the planning stage of a modified Transam from Oregon to Florida. I had the same question about crossing the big river. So last month I rode my motorcycle along some of the route to check it out. U.S. route 49 crosses the Mississippi just east of Helena/West Helena Arkansas. It is a two lane highway with small shoulders on the bridge. After crossing the bridge I stopped in the Arkansas welcome office and asked them about crossing on a bicycle. They said people do it every day. In fact, during the time I was there, a local came across on a mountain bike. Since then I have found a couple of tourer's logs recording their crossing of that bridge. My plan is to spend the night near the bridge and cross it early in the morning when the traffic is light.
Hope this is of some help.
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Old 08-10-06, 04:19 PM
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I recall crossing the Mississippi at Memphis via car. Seems I did not like the bridges. Narrow and busy.
Do I not recall ferry boats at several locations on the MIssissippi in this area. I'd be looking for that option. Besides, you'd likley avoid busy urban areas that way.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:57 AM
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Thanks everyone for the good advice and resources to check.

I have since modified my St Louis to Memphis route to eliminate Tennessee bridge crossings. I will be using ferries from Illinois to Missouri and then from Missouri to Kentucky and continue to Memphis on the east side of the river. (Thanks Terrapax)
However, should anyone be interested, Tennessee sources suggested I use the sidewalks on the I-55 bridge to walk across Ol' Man River. (Thanks for the lead, apneaman).
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Old 08-11-06, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by edp773
Doring the summer the Channel Cat water taxi will transport you and your bike from Moline, Il to Danvenport, IA or vice versa.

There is a sidewalk on the Centennial bridge than runs from Rock Island to Davenport. Since it is a highway you could ride over it also, but I have only done this when one lane was closed to cars. The great River Trail runs right under the bridge making it easy to find..
And just for the search record, north of there, the Highway 136 bridge connecting Clinton. IA to Fulton, IL has a sidewalk.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:42 PM
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Last week I crossed the Big Muddy at Muscatine, Iowa into Illinois. The bridge had a reasonably good, small shoulder. The traffic wasn't too bad either. It is a wonderful experience crossing this great river, and I'd encourage everyone to try it.
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Old 08-12-06, 12:18 PM
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Crossing the Mississippi River

If you are in Missouri, you can use the I-72 bridge from Hannibal MO to Hull IL. It is posted on the bridge that that bicycles are allowed. But, watch the storm drain covers. They are placed 90 degrees incorrectly and your tires will drop into the slots. It might ruin your day.
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Old 05-10-20, 06:27 PM
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Bike crossing over Mississippi

One can cross Mississippi by bike from Clinton, Iowa, to Fulton, Illinois, over the Great River, 19th ave in Iowa, 14th ave in Illinois, or rt. 136, it is a concrete bridge, with rather narrow bike lane on the north side of the bridge - if you meet another biker or walker/jogger, you have to slow down or stop. It is a well kept secret - so far, after using during our family biking trips (in 6 month period, since we moved to the area), we have met only two bikers and two hikers. It has a gorgeous view of Mississippi and you can see turtles on both sides of Mississippi - and beautiful wind mill in Dutch style in Fulton, IL, built by ancestors of Dutch immigrants. You can see eagles and see birds, as well.

Last edited by George1953; 05-10-20 at 06:29 PM. Reason: My daughter recalled seeing eagle, too.
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Old 05-11-20, 06:33 AM
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Resurrected 14 year old thread.

Some taxi companies have mini-vans. In my community there is one taxi company that has bike racks on some of their taxi cabs.
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Old 05-11-20, 12:50 PM
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I crossed the mighty Mississippi River once, in St. Louis, Missouri. I might have forgotten which city, but those big arches are pretty distinctive. 😉

What I remember most though, is missing my turn, and getting caught up in a 4 or 5 lane traffic jungle, with pretty much no berm to rode on. 😟 A nice lady with a carload of kids finally waved me in ahead of her, or I might still be stuck there. 🤔😁😉
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Old 05-11-20, 02:16 PM
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Those in Illinois that I'm familiar with:
The old Chain of Rocks Bridge can be a fine way of crossing into Illinois from St. Louis if open.
Otherwise slightly to the north, Highway 67 into Alton, IL is not too awful.
And more southerly, is the Trans America route through Chester, IL (home of Popeye).
Quincy, IL crossing is no fun,
but the worst crossing by far goes to.....drum roll please........ Cairo, IL Highway 51 or 62, either way you lose.
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Old 05-11-20, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Resurrected 14 year old thread.
Wow! There is a reason to create new threads rather than reviving really old threads. Things can change. For example:
  • In 2003, I asked almost the equivalent question in the group rec.bicycles.rides since I was planning a ride from Wichita to Memphis. *At that time* there weren't good options in Memphis and so I went via Helena and then back north. Trip report: Wichita to Memphis
  • In 2018, I took a different trip also ended in Memphis. This time starting in Texarkana. By now there was a nice pedestrian/bicycle bridge to cross in Memphis. Trip report: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=21232&v=25
I believe the Adventure Cycling route has also changed some. Back in 2002, I did take ferry mentioned above near St Francisville but believe there is a bridge route since then.

One of my more adventuresome bits close to this was my walking across a railroad bridge across the Atchafalaya (even pausing for an oncoming train) - with the story here on April 6th - April 1-10
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Old 05-11-20, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Resurrected 14 year old thread.
First post no less.
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